Florida summers can be brutal, with temperatures soaring and humidity levels reaching uncomfortable levels. It’s essential to take extra precautions when driving during these hot months, as the heat can take a toll on both you and your vehicle. In this blog post, we will provide some tips on how to stay safe and comfortable while driving in the Florida summer heat.
- Stay Hydrated
One of the most important things you can do when driving in the Florida summer heat is to stay hydrated. Dehydration can cause fatigue, dizziness, and other symptoms that can impair your ability to drive safely. Be sure to drink plenty of water before and during your trip, and avoid caffeine and alcohol, as they can dehydrate you even more.
- Use Sunscreen
Protect your skin from the harmful UV rays of the sun by applying sunscreen before you hit the road. Choose a sunscreen with at least SPF 30, and reapply every two hours if you’re out in the sun for an extended period. This will not only protect your skin but also keep you from getting too hot and uncomfortable.
- Wear Light and Breathable Clothing
When driving in the Florida summer heat, it’s important to wear light and breathable clothing. Choose fabrics that are loose-fitting and allow air to circulate around your body. Avoid dark colors, as they absorb more heat and can make you feel even hotter. Light-colored clothing will reflect the sun’s rays and keep you cooler.
The summer heat can take a toll on your vehicle, so it’s essential to keep it maintained. Have your vehicle’s fluids checked and changed regularly, including the oil, coolant, and transmission fluid. Also, make sure your air conditioning system is working correctly, and the refrigerant levels are topped off. Check your tire pressure regularly and make sure your tires are in good condition.
- Plan Your Route and Time of Travel
When driving in the Florida summer heat, it’s important to plan your route and time of travel carefully. Try to avoid driving during the hottest times of the day, usually between 11 am and 4 pm. If possible, plan your trips for the early morning or late evening when temperatures are cooler. Also, choose routes that offer shade or take you through areas with air conditioning, such as shopping malls or movie theaters.
- Use Sun Shades
Sun shades can help reduce the heat inside your vehicle and make it more comfortable to drive. Place sun shades on your windshield and rear window when parked to keep the sun’s rays from heating up the interior. Also, consider investing in seat covers made from breathable materials that will keep you cool while driving.
- Take Breaks
Driving in the Florida summer heat can be exhausting, so it’s important to take breaks to rest and recharge. Stop at rest areas or gas stations and take a few minutes to stretch your legs and get some fresh air. Also, take advantage of air-conditioned areas like restaurants or coffee shops along your route.
- Use Air Conditioning Properly
While air conditioning is a lifesaver during the Florida summer heat, it’s essential to use it properly to avoid overworking your vehicle. Set your air conditioning to a comfortable temperature, usually between 72 and 78 degrees Fahrenheit. Also, use the recirculation mode to cool down the air inside the vehicle faster. This will reduce the amount of hot air that needs to be cooled by the air conditioning system.
- Be Prepared for Emergencies
In case of emergencies, it’s important to be prepared. Keep an emergency kit in your vehicle that includes water, snacks, a first aid kit, a flashlight, and a blanket. Also, have a charged cell phone and a charger on hand, in case you need to call for assistance.